Aaron Blackham, MSW

Community Outreach Trainer

Contact Information


  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Southern Utah University
  • Master of Social Work, University of Nevada Reno


Professional Experience:

Aaron Blackham has over 10 years' experience working with youth, families, and adults. He served as a child protective service worker and a program specialist for the Division of Child and Family Services in Nevada. He has facilitated various types of psychoeducational and support groups for teenagers and parents.  Mr. Blackham was employed as a counselor and a supervisor for several different wilderness-based behavioral healthcare programs and outdoor adult leadership programs. He has a passion for working hard and playing hard outside-and-in.

In 2014, Mr. Blackham became a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). Aaron has presented, trained, coached, and evaluated motivational interviewing practice at workshops, classes, and conferences to over 1000 professionals in the social work, health care, educational, mental health, criminal justice and substance abuse treatment professions. He is also an SBIRT consultant and has developed SBIRT activities and evaluation methods to integrate SBIRT into social work curricula and simulation labs.  Mr. Blackham has been a community outreach trainer for the Nevada Partnership for Training since 2009. As a community outreach trainer Aaron's main task is to provide pre-service Academy training for new hire child welfare workers in Nevada.  He has also developed and delivered curricula providing CEU trainings for the child welfare workforce and stakeholders in the following areas:

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Trauma and Neurodevelopment
  • Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
  • Child Welfare Ethics
  • Child Sexual Abuse: Assessment and Case Management
  • Domestic Violence: Assessment and Case Management
  • Engaging Fathers
  • LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care
  • Positive Youth Development
  • Child Welfare Supervision
  • Coaching and Resilience
  • Adult Mental Health
  • Child Mental Health
  • Mandated Reporter Basics

Indian Child Welfare Act

Courses Taught:

  • BSW Field Seminar
  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Social Work Methods with Individuals

Research Interests:

  • Child Welfare
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare
  • Permaculture and Green Social Work

Presentations (Past 5 years)

Blackham, A. & Stevens, D. (2013). Full Circle Case Management. 48th Annual Intertribal Council of Nevada, Reno, NV.

Blackham, A. (2014, August).  Effective Communication and Interviewing. 1st Annual Victim Assistance Academy of Nevada: Weaving a Tapestry of Advocacy in Nevada, Reno, NV.

Blackham, A. (2014, July). Training Motivational Interviewing: Sourcing the Wellspring.  West Coast Child Welfare Trainers' Conference., Coeur d'Alene, ID.

Blackham, A. (2014, September). Training Resources: The Rhythm of Motivational Interviewing. NASW Chapter Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Blackham, A. (2014, December). Motivational Interviewing: Can You Spare Some Change?  Presented at the 49th  2014 Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, Sparks, NV.

Becker, I. & Blackham, A. (2015, July). Bulls-Eye: How to Hit the Mark with Curriculum Design, West Coast Child Welfare Trainers' Conference, Reno, NV.

Blackham, A. & Bernier, M. (2015, July). Get Your Silver Spurs: Kick Training Up a Notch with Energizers, Icebreakers, and Activities.  West Coast Child Welfare Trainers' Conference, Reno, NV.

Blackham, A. (2015, August).  The Art and Science of Communication.  2nd  Annual Victim Assistance Academy of Nevada, Reno, NV.

Blackham, A. & Bernier, M. (2016, August). Trainer's Survival Kit: Emergency Preparedness for Challenging Training Climates.  West Coast Child Welfare Trainers' Conference,  Davis, CA.

Favorite Quote

"We can have wilderness without freedom; we can have wilderness without human life at all, but we cannot have freedom without wilderness, we cannot have freedom without leagues of open space beyond the cities, where boys and girls, men and women, can live at least part of their lives under no control but their own desires and abilities, free from any and all direct administration by their fellow men."
-Edward Abbey